Dangerous Texts Lurking in Litigation Nearby

Technology is great, isn’t it?  Text makes it so easy to communicate with someone without having to actually TALK to them.  It’s so much easier to be nasty and vile over text than it is in person, or even over the phone.  But you know what we, as attorneys love about text messages?  They create a written record.  So every time you send a text to someone, that message can be used against you in a court proceeding.  Think about that.  A good rule of thumb is if you would not send it to your mother, you probably should not send it.  But that’s not going to stop the barrage of hateful texts that I see on a daily basis that are sent back and forth between people who used to love one another or people who had a child together because when people get in the heat of the moment of texting, they do not think about what they say.  And that is when they say something that is not only hurtful to the other person, but often hurtful to their case.  Text messages can and will be used as evidence in court cases.   

And, everyone is on the internet these days, right?  Well, guess what…so is your spouse, or their friend, or even their attorney!  Yep!  Believe it or not, internet posts have been the downfall of more than a few custody cases, divorce cases, support cases, personal injury cases, disability cases (you fill in the blank here).  But I am going to stick to talking about an area with which I am more familiar – family law.  Let me start by telling you that those of you who post your lives on Facebook or Twitter are a family law attorney’s dream (not for a client, but for an opposing party).  If your account is public, it is FAIR GAME for trial so those lovely pics that you posted the other night of you obliterated out of your mind while you had custody of the kids, yep…I’m going to use them as evidence at the custody hearing. 

You want to drug test my client every other week because you suspect he or she is smoking pot, yet every other post that you put up is about legalizing marijuana?  You bet I’m going to be using that at trial!  Oh, and all of those brutally “honest” jabs at my client that you take on the web…you know the ones… about what a deadbeat he is, or how she doesn’t let you see the kids, or even the diatribes wherein you attack his/her character, you know what…those are the best.  Do you want to know why?  They show your complete inability to co-parent and work with my client.  You are only trying to sabotage them.  That’s one of the factors that the Court is going to look at for awarding custody.  Which one of you is the better co-parent?  So keep on keeping on.  Post away.  I will continue to utilize that information to the best of my ability.

Even if your posts are not public, do you not remember that you have mutual friends?  And they might not have their privacy settings such that your former spouse cannot see what is being posted about them.  But even more obvious…those friends have loyalties to both of you.  If you are raking the other spouse’s name through the mud, you can bet that a mutual friend might be forwarding those posts to your ex. 

So, now you’re going to delete it, right?  It will be like it never happened?  WRONG!  Once it’s posted, it is never completely gone.  And as attorneys, we have the power of Subpoena.  If we know it once existed, we can ask for it from Google, from Facebook, from Twitter.  And guess what, now we have the issue that you have potentially destroyed evidence…and the court does not take real kindly to that… at all. 

Therefore, the moral of this article… be careful how you utilize modern technology.  Consider this your “Miranda Warning”… IT CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW…. 

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Primer On Unemployment Compensation In PA

Many clients call asking about their recent wrongful termination.  With the state of the economy, the calls are coming at an alarming rate.  Most people know that Pennsylvania is known as an “at will” employment state.  Simply put, what that means is generally your employer can fire you for any nondiscriminatory reason they can think of.  I can fire you because you are a Pirates fan while I would rather see the Phillies win.  I can fire you because I believe you stole from me even though you have proof that you didn’t.  The “at will” status seems to provide Pennsylvania employers with some insulation from suit but if you are terminated because of a reason related to your inclusion within a recognized protected class, such as age, sex, ethnicity, being pregnant, disability, you may have a discrimination suit against your employer. 

Most of the questions we receive on the issue of separation from employment are ultimately about unemployment compensation.  Within the world of unemployment compensation there are two general categories; those employees who quit and those employees who were fired. Read more...
work/life balance

Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Achieving a healthy work/life balance is key to being successful. Some ways to get you on track include:

Identifying Your Priorities

It is easy to get wrapped up in the daily motions. However, much of the time we spend is actually wasted or spent on things that are not as important. By identifying your real priorities, you can then find ways to focus on them.

Communicate Your Needs

Others cannot guess what is important to you. However, you can communicate your needs in order to make sure they are fulfilled.  An unknown solution may appear that may not have if you were not open and honest about them.

Keep Your Own Rules

To successfully achieve a work/life balance, you will need to put certain rules in place. For example, you may make a rule to disconnect from technology for a certain amount of time when home. If you do not respect your own rules, no one else will either.

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David C. Dagle
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Four Quick Health Tips to Live By


Get Eight Hours of Sleep

Multiple studies have shown that adequate sleep provides you with a plethora of benefits, including a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, boosted memory and greater alertness.

Eat a Second Lunch

Eating a second lunch can help curb nighttime hunger, which is more likely to lead to overeating at a dangerous time when you are not working off the calories. A second lunch can also help you boost your energy during the day, leading to greater productivity at work.

Eat Fish

Eating certain fish and their oils helps aid in brain and heart health. It may also lower the risk of acquiring certain forms of cancer. Aim for two fish meals each week for maximum benefits.

Use a Pedometer

This nifty little tool not only keeps track of your steps but also encourages you to walk more, helping you be healthier and achieve your fitness goals. 

Magic Lamp

Three men came upon a lamp in the desert. After the first one rubbed it, a genie appeared.

“I give you each one wish for setting me free.” He proclaimed.

The first man who rubbed the lamp exclaimed “I wish to be home with a money tree in my back yard.” Once he completed his wish, he vanished.

The second man jumped up and down excitedly. “I wish I were king of a large oasis here in the desert.” Again, with his wish completed he also vanished.

The last man thought a moment before deciding upon his wish. “I wish I had seven wives.”

Once the last wish was cast, the genie looked in on all three men. The first man was arrested for stealing ten million dollars from the bank and hiding it in the large oak tree in his backyard.

The second man was killed by his subjects for subjugating them. His kingdom became a republic.

The last man was living well. Surrounded by his many wives, he lived a long life.

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